Credit union loans

You could get a loan or current account from your local credit union, but need to join first.

How to join a credit union

Use the find a credit union search to see which union you could join.

Each credit union has its own rules about who can join.

Credit union members must generally have a common bond. Examples of a common bond include:

  • living or working in the same area
  • being tenants of the same housing association
  • working for the same employer.

Most credit unions are members of the Association of British Credit Unions.

Short term loans

Credit unions provide short-term loans, often for small amounts.

Credit unions may offer you a loan if you have a low income or you claim benefits. You may need to build up savings before you get a loan.

Interest charges are no more than 3% per month, but many charge less.

Use the Association of British Credit Unions' loan calculator to see what a loan could cost

Current accounts

Some credit unions provide members with a current account.

This could be helpful if you can't open a bank account with a traditional bank. .

Saving with a credit union

Credit unions encourage saving as a way to help with budgeting your money. 

Credit unions may allow you to deposit money at:

  • local branch offices
  • local shops
  • by direct debit 
  • through deductions directly from your wages.

Credit unions usually limit the amount you can save with them to a maximum of £30,000. 

Your money is protected by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if the credit union fails. 

Problems repaying a loan

If you have difficulty paying your loan, you can ask your credit union for more affordable repayments or help with budgeting.

If you don't pay, a credit union can take you to court in the same way as any other lender

Need more help?

Find out more about saving and borrowing from a credit union from Which?


Last updated 08 November 2018 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.